8 Reasons Why You Aren't Getting Stronger

8 Reasons Why You Aren't Getting Stronger

When it comes to the gym and strength training, there are many reasons people just simply STOP.

If training was easy, it wouldn’t be this much fun. Thankfully, it takes a bit of effort. You have to earn your results by yourself, for yourself. Others can’t lift the weight for you and pass on the strength, this isn’t Pokemon, and they aren’t holding an Exp. Share.

Strength training however can be something that anyone can do, but the hardest part is understanding why people leave the gym and never come back.
The simplest answer is this: People quit lifting because they either stop seeing results or are not seeing the results that they want.

Today we are going to break down 10 different reasons you may stop getting stronger and what you can do as a lifter to keep stepping forward.

Table of Contents:

  • Not Sticking with a Program
  • You are Resting TO Long
  • Training with 100 Distractions
  • You Are Inconsistent
  • Focusing on Motivation Instead of Dedication
  • Training Through Pain
  • Not Training with Intensity
  • Making Training a Sprint, Not a Marathon

Not Sticking with a Program

The single most COMMON reason people don’t get results in the gym is because they are program hopping. This means that they go from program to program much like the children from Bokurano jump from universe to universe.

And we understand it immensely, doing the same program for weeks or even months on end can be (read: is) totally boring. But it is important to remember that sometimes this steady march will help you get to where you need to be, towards your goals.

One of the more helpful ways to prevent yourself from program hopping is to set a solid attainable goal that you can work towards. Knowing the end goal will help you understand what you are working towards and keep you on the path.

One other thing to understand is that doing something different from your program from time to time is acceptable. Even Deku went off program and got better. The important thing remember is to come back and work WITHIN the program to do so. Going off on your own adventure every single time means you are NOT sticking with the program and should re-examine it.

You are Resting TO Long

Now while you are training, there is something that will make or break if your session is a worthy Battle of the Gods or just something that… exists, and that is your rest periods between sets and exercises.

Taking control of your rest periods gives you control over the length of your training session, helps keep intensity high and keeps you focused. Setting a rest period timer on your phone is a great way to put that control back with you. When people start paying closer attention to their rest, the notice that their accessory sets may become harder, because they aren’t resting as long as they did.

If you are looking for hypertrophy in your training, 90-120 seconds is all you need after purring in all of your effort. You will absolutely have a better session, reduce distractions (wait until the next point), and get more out of your training than you ever had before.

Training with 100 Distractions

Life is one of the most hectic things to happen to all of us. Work, kids, friends, these things can and have caused distractions in the gym.

If you are talking, like actually having a conversation during a set, can you honestly say that you are getting the most out of your sessions? If you are answering anything other than no, stop lying to yourself.

Training can be an escape from life and creating an environment just for yourself is important. While you may not be able to shut off your phone because of work or family, not responding to unimportant messages or social media is a step in the right direction.

Another thing of note is while having friends in the gym is great, talking long enough to cause a massive cool down in your body is NOT what you should be doing. It’s a hard struggle, but one way to counterbalance this is to set a timer on your phone and make sure you session is done before it hits your prescribed zero.

You Are Inconsistent

Consistency over intensity matters in training. The person who is always putting in constant, consistent effort will go further in strength training (usually) than the person who goes as hard as possible but takes breaks.

Life happens and training can’t always be a top priority, if anyone understands that, it’s nerds like us. However, training can still be scheduled in and taken advantage of. Missing sessions is fine, in fact, it happens and is human. However, missing weeks or months in a row can set you back and hurt your progress. It’s better to get 2 sessions in a week, of moderate intensity instead of just one every so often.

Focusing on Motivation Instead of Dedication

Dedication beats motivation any day of the week. The hype can carry you for just a little bit, but it won’t take you past walls that pop up and take time to work through.
Training needs to be something that you not only want to do, but need to do to be a part of who you are. There are plenty of times where you are unmotivated, but that dedication to progress and who you want to become will help you reach the next level.

We all have days where we don’t feel the motivation, but if you find that dedication you’ll push through even the hardest of sessions.

Training Through Pain

While most people tend not to train hard enough, there are others that tend to train through the pain.

Many of us are guilty of training through injury or illness, because we think that is what it means to be hardcore in the gym.

But it’s actually the inverse. Training through times of illness and injury usually ends up making it worse, which then puts you out of the gym for an extended period of time. As we get older we understand how to work AROUND and with the pain instead of through it. Don’t be stubborn when it comes to training with an injury, it will only put you back.

Not Training with Intensity

If you want to make progress, and we mean SERIOUS progress, you gotta put in some effort and train with not only your brain, but your body.

This doesn’t mean you need to be breaking your body every session, because you won’t be going anywhere, anywhere fast like that. But it does mean your training should be pushing you to just NEAR the edge of death for you to get some fun results.

While people really do seem to use the RPE system, many times they do not understand what their true scale looks like because they haven’t trained with intensity near enough to see what their limits are.

Eventually you will find where you are uncomfortable and you can choose to either back away from it or embrace it. Your intensity is determined by YOU not those around you.

Making Training a Sprint, Not a Marathon

We know that training isn’t a quick thing, it takes a while. It’s a series of events that takes time to understand and work through.

So it takes patience to get through stalls, not get hurt and know that even if you are feeling great, you shouldn’t send it! Making large jumps in weight or reps each week will keep you from moving forward through it all.

Every one of these points can tie together and stall progress for you as you have been learning. If, on the program you have been following, the prescribed weights/sets are feeling way to easy, that’s how it should feel! You are making progress and following what you are being asked to do! Keep with the plan week over week, because if you add too much and compromise the quality of your strength training, you are going to be running into issues later on.

Consistency is key when it comes to your training. Adding a pound or rep every week is an incredible feat and will leave you strong no matter where or when you are. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to your training, there can be hundreds of reasons you aren’t getting stronger or making any health progress.

The eight reasons we just laid out and helped address for you are just some of the most common ones you may come across. Which ones did we miss in your opinion? And do you suffer from any of these?


If you are looking to follow and learn from some amazing people and powerlifters follow the links below or read this article for some great stories. Or if you are looking for programming, you can find one of our free programs here or you can reach out to one of our team members to see how to take your training to the next level.

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